Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day. I live in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – not that I’ve seen all that many – and the views on the way to work were incredible. We are surrounded by water, and on mornings like yesterday that can be such a beautiful blessing. Between the sparkling waters of the canal, with its border of towering trees wreathed by morning mist, sitting at the feet of the snow covered mountains, and the pink and lavender sky welcoming the first bright rays of sun, the drive to the office is one of beauty and awe at the artistry of God. Mornings like yesterday make annoying drivers so much easier to tolerate. (I didn’t take this picture because I was on my way to work, but I found this one that someone else took, and all it is missing is the pink streaks in the sky to be the view I had on the way to work.)
Thanks to everyone again for your understanding about no post yesterday. Some things are just worth setting aside the daily routine and enjoying – and the blessing of time with family is one of those things. I’ll be brief with each individual celebration, since I am covering two days worth.
What we missed yesterday – but it’s not too late to observe them today!
Brain Injury Awareness Day – This one is near and dear to our hearts in our family. Some sites are calling it Brain Injury Awareness and others are calling it Head Injury Awareness Day – either way it’s something to take seriously. Every year the number of people who suffer from something as mild as a bump on their heads, to severe brain trauma is staggeringly high. I couldn’t even find a number because so many go unreported. They all count though. A big bonk on the head affects the brain, perhaps not in the same way that traumatic injury does, but it still is a good reason to be aware of safety for everyone. Making sure that simple safety items like helmets and seat belts are used by yourselves and your children can prevent many relatively minor incidents. Every year more than 5% of the people around the world get serious brain injury after they get into an accident or just unknowingly bump their head. Even a very small injury to your brain can cause medical issues for an entire life. Some people aren’t even aware of what can actually cause a brain or head injury – it doesn’t have to be as severe as my wonderful son-in-law, who was shot in the face while serving our country in Iraq. He has permanent traumatic brain injury that will affect him for the rest of his life. He suffers from seizures, memory loss, severe headaches, sleeplessness, dizziness, etc. He will never get better without the healing touch of God. Medical science – and the limited attention the army is giving this injury – has done all it can at this point. Few brain injuries are caused by something of this nature though – at least when compared with the majority of the injuries suffered. We’ve all heard of someone being hit in the head by something heavy, or falling and hitting your head, causing irreversible brain damage to the victim, but are you aware that a baby falling from a crib, or a football being hit on the head, can all cause the same damage? Sometimes the damage is minor, but sometimes it is very serious. The brain is protected inside the hard bony skull, but even the skull can’t withstand the force of some trauma, and the soft brain tissues can get injured by a very small hit. Using proper protective gear, child proofing your home so heavy objects cannot fall easily onto a child’s head, making sure they can’t get out of their cribs on their own and fall to hit their heads on the floor . . . these precautions can save a lifetime of trauma and physical problems. My son-in-law, Chess and my daughter, Krianne, were part of a film project about TBI issues faced by our soldiers and others who suffer similar events. You can see the trailer for the film and even purchase one and support the foundation at http://www.exitwoundfilm.com/. Please – every little bit can help a soldier who suffers get the help, support and understanding that they need to survive following injuries suffered protecting our nation, our people and our freedoms. The suicide rate of returning veterans is horribly high. Programs like the one in this film – Higher Ground – helps those soldiers and through your support, so can you.
Fragrance Day – Well, this is a celebration I personally protest, but I know there are many who will appreciate it. Perfumes have been used for hundreds of years, and in ancient times they were used to hide body odors. I’ve run across people who still seem to think that perfume or cologne is a good alternative to showers. I tend to disagree. At the time that perfumes were used for masking body odor, baths were taken infrequently, and after a few days people began to smell less than pleasant. The perfumes made the atmosphere more pleasant. I know there were social and superstitious reasons that they didn’t bathe as often, but seriously, taking a bath would have been a much better solution! Today most people shower every single day but perfume is used because people like to wear a scent that they like and identify with themselves. As someone who suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, perfume is toxic poison to me. People have come into my office wearing some horrifying concoction and it sends me into headache and nausea mode nearly instantly. It’s not the smell either! Some perfumes smell quite lovely to me . . .it’s the chemical compounds IN the perfumes that hurt me, and people who also suffer from this syndrome. I always tell people to please, avoid perfume and use essential oils instead – they are natural, chemical free and don’t typically harm others because of their lack of chemicals. If you are interested in using essential oils, please comment with a way to get in touch with you. I would be happy to help you with getting your own 100% natural essential oils, and getting you started on making your own, unique to you, scent.
Memory Day – What day is this? Oh yes, Memory Day! Today we celebrate the gift of our memories . . . before we forget and the day is over of course! From the time we are little we play memory games like Concentration, to work on our memory capabilities. Every day we do things from memory, from singing along to songs on the radio, to performing our jobs. We all understand how damaging disease’s like Alzheimer’s, and other types of dementia, are to both their victims and the loved ones of the victims. Today would be a great day to support one of the wonderful charities that help research to find a cure for dementia. Another sweet thing you could do is take someone who suffers from memory issues on an adventure – they may not remember it all of the time, but the memories may filter through and give them a smile now and again. And YOU will remember – and that’s just as important.
National Common Courtesy Day – There are days that I feel that common courtesy is decidedly UNCOMMON. Simple things like saying please and thank you, holding a door open for someone, and just considering the feelings of those around you, seem to be non-existent in our world! Why? Don’t parents today teach those things? It doesn’t seem so. These were things that we were taught from the time we were born, and the things that I instilled in my own children. I would hope and pray they do the same. Everywhere around me, every single day, I see examples of self-entitled, rude and obnoxious people of all ages just running roughshod through life spreading their unpleasant attitudes everywhere they go. Please, today is Common Courtesy Day – say please, say think you. Let someone hold the door for you, or vice versa. BE NICE TO EACH OTHER! Maybe today will be a seed for more days of the same. Let’s take polite behavior out of the shadows and put it back where it belongs in our everyday lives.
National Puppy Day – PUPPIES! Who doesn’t LOVE puppies? Yesterday millions of Americans and people around the world were asked to show their love and appreciation for puppies. Dogs have been known as Man’s Best Friend for decades, and when we adopt a puppy it isn’t just a friend, it becomes a part of our family. This day was set up back in 2006 by Colleen Paige. She is a Celebrity Pet and Home Lifestyle Expert and Author – I have NO idea what she actually does, but her title is awesome! She is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. There are many ways to celebrate National Puppy Day – and honestly you can celebrate this one any day of the year! You can adopt a puppy! You will not only be giving a dog a home, he or she will become your new best friend. If you can’t adopt, make a donation to a local pet shelter, which is always a great thing to do and always needed. Without donations most pet shelters couldn’t stay open. If you already have a puppy, you can give them special treats and do some extra spoiling! Though if yours is anything like mine, every day is a day to be spoiled. She may not be a puppy any more, but she’s MY puppy no matter how old she gets! (This picture is what my Tibbi girl looked like when she came to us from the Humane Society all those years ago)
World Down Syndrome Day – Down Syndrome is the most common genetic condition, with one in every 691 babies in the U.S. born with a form of Down Syndrome. It can occur in all races, ethnicities, economic levels and as well as any age of the parents. Physical traits of Down Syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and a deep single crease across the center of the palm. All individuals without Downs Syndrome are unique, and all individuals with Down Syndrome area also unique and may not possess all of these characteristics, or even none at all. I had the blessing of being able to work with special needs children when I was in high school, and a more loving group of kids I have never met. That extra chromosome these children possess gives them the most loving demeanor, they are quick to smile, they have lovely senses of humor, they laugh with an infectious giggle that just makes everyone around them want to laugh and smile also. They love to cuddle and like all children, they love to play. I have to admit I do have a pet peeve about so many children that I have seen with Down Syndrome, and the peeve isn’t with the children. It is with their parents and caregivers. Just about every single one of these children I have seen are dressed in the sloppiest of clothes, most of the time they don’t even match. Their hair is left to be either a tangled mess, or is cut in the most unflattering style. WHY? They are human beings and as such why are their parents doing this to them? It’s especially apparent when these children have siblings without Down Syndrome. The children without Downs are dressed in stylish, new clothing, alongside the child WITH Downs that is obviously in clothing that is thrift store, unmatched and doesn’t fit! The child without Downs has a stylish, well groomed appearance, the one with Downs looks like someone gave them a hair cut with a weed eater. WHY? If this is your child be proud of who they are, with or without Downs. I have no issue with bargain hunting, thrift store and 2nd hand shopping. It’s frugal and economically intelligent, but in doing so you can make sure the clothes FIT! And match! and are unstained! And for gosh sakes, comb their hair and cut it in a stylish manner. They are human beings, and as such have equal right to being treated like others, by their parents, siblings and society. Spend any length of time with a child with Downs and your life will be blessed and enhanced beyond your wildest dreams. The innocence, simple sense of humor, love and affection can completely bowl you over with what is important in life.
As Young As You Feel Day – How many times to you look back and compare your youth with today, changes are happening so fast with technology, music, society, vehicles, well – EVERYTHING! There are days that you start feeling old, but today remember (as the folks at Wellcat.com remind us) that we are as young as we feel! Stop acting your chronological age and get out there and do something fun to show how old you FEEL! How do we do this? We can go for a bike ride, learn something new, play games, go dancing, or do any activity that makes us feel energetic and happy. For me . . . I’m getting myself ready for hiking season. That means time on the treadmill every other day minimum, walking at lunch with my co-worker every day and getting ready to strap on the pack and hit the trails!
International Goof-off Day – We ALL need a day now and again to just goof off . . . the work and responsibility will be waiting for you to resume normal activities, but one day now and a gain should be claimed for fun and silliness! If the weather is nice it may be a good idea to go to the local playground and play! My daughter and her husband did that on his birthday this week and had a wonderful time! I admit to feeling envious! If it is an icky weather day, goof off by lounging around watching TV, playing games, pinning everything you love to Pinterest or just curled up reading a good book eating a bag of your favorite junk food! It’s only once in awhile, so go for it!
This Day In History –
1963 – (21st) The infamous Alcatraz prison is closed.
Food Celebration of the Day –
March 22nd – National Coq Au Vin Day – Coq au vin is simply chicken braised in wine, but its deep flavor is anything but simple. Dig into this classic or one of these famous cold-weather chicken braises.
Well, to save time I didn’t do all of the U.N. (which I normally don’t do anyway), or the more serious International days. There were SO many and honestly there is only so much time in the day! I did pick the ones that resonated with me, so I hope they will with you too. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!